The Atlanta Falcons traveled to Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019, to face the Carolina Panthers in a divisional matchup at the Bank of America Stadium and dominated the Panthers the whole way. The Falcons came into the week at 2-7, with one of those victories taking place over New Orleans in Week 10. Meanwhile, the Panthers entered at 5-4 after falling to Green Bay the week prior.
Atlanta started the game with possession and ended their opening drive with a 38-yard field goal from Younghoe Koo for the first score of the game to make it 3-0. Carolina’s first drive ended when quarterback Kyle Allen threw his first interception of the game. The Falcons didn’t capitalize on the interception as Koo’s second 38-yard field goal attempt went wide right, but three drives later, Kenjon Barber took the ball for a 78-yard punt return touchdown with just over a minute left in the first quarter to retain a 10-point lead over the Panthers.
Carolina’s next drive finished out the first quarter and started the second quarter with yet another interception. On the last play of a 12-play drive, Desmond Trufant picked the ball and ended the first drive of the quarter.
Atlanta did capitalize on this interception after a touchdown was reversed in the second to last play, forcing Yoo to kick a 25-yard field goal, giving the Falcons the 13-0 lead. In the next Atlanta possession, Matt Ryan threw an impressive 48-yard pass to Julio Jones and followed it up with a Quadree Ollison touchdown run, his first ever, to extend the lead to 20 points.
Just as the quarter began for the Panthers, it ended with yet another Allen pass intended for Moore intercepted, this time by Ricardo Allen, ending the first half of the game with the Falcons shutting out the Panthersq, 20-0.
The Panthers opened the second half of the game with possession, and after two penalties were called on the team, Allen was sacked by Adrian Clayborn, ending the opening drive.
The Falcons, on the other hand, did put points up in their opening drive of the second half when Ryan connected with Calvin Ridley for a six-yard touchdown and put six more points on the board after the point conversion attempt failed.
Carolina finally put a score on the board in the first possession of the fourth quarter as rookie Joey Slye kicked a 31-yard field goal, giving the Panthers their first points of the game with 13:04 left to play. Slye scored the only points for the Panthers in Sunday’s game.
Atlanta’s first drive of the fourth quarter was also a lengthy 12 plays long and shaved six minutes off of the clock before Koo kicked his third field goal, again from 25 yards out to extend the Falcons’ lead to 26 points.
Atlanta forced yet another turnover with their fourth interception of the game in the next Carolina drive when Damonte Kazee took the ball at the Atlanta four-yard line. The Panthers would have one more shot at adding to their three points on the board, but Allen Bailey ended those hopes when he sacked Allen for a loss of 11 yards on third down, essentially ending the game.
The Falcons’ defensive line was prepared for Christian McCaffery and kept him double- and triple-covered so he was only able to post 70 rushing yards and 121 receiving yards, which is relatively low for the MVP candidate.
On the other side of the field, the Falcons were productive offensively with Ryan completing 31 of 50 passes for 311 yards, one touchdown, zero interceptions, and a 111.1 rating. Brian Hill and Ridley were no match for the Carolina defense, posting 15 carries for 30 yards and eight receptions for 143 yards and one touchdown, respectively.
Atlanta dominated Carolina in every facet of the game: offensive, defensive, and special teams. They owned the field from beginning to end. The Panthers will face the New Orleans Saints in another divisional matchup next week, while the Falcons meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“This is the defense we expected to see all along.”
📝 @MatthewTabeek’s Take: https://t.co/j9lJdJxWZq pic.twitter.com/xXiFuMHMEu
— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) November 18, 2019
Ron Rivera is at the podium https://t.co/CWDbftO602
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) November 17, 2019